Press release

Proposed Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects in England and Wales, Wylfa Newydd Nuclear Power Station

Information about possible Transboundary Environmental Impacts (UNECE Espoo Convention and UNECE Aarhus Convention)


Development is proposed for ‘Wylfa Newydd’, a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, Anglesey, North Wales in the United Kingdom (UK). An application for development consent has been accepted for examination by the UK’s Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State.

The generating station would have an electrical output of approximately 3,100 megawatts (MW), provided by two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors. If development consent is granted, construction would take approximately seven years, with operation likely to commence around 2027. Further information about the project can be found in the development consent application documents which are available on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

In accordance with the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, the Secretary of State has carried out a screening assessment of likely significant effects on the environment in other states under those Regulations.

The Secretary of State has identified a potential likely significant effect on the environment in the Republic of Ireland. The Secretary of State is of the view that the Proposed Development is not likely to have significant effects in any other states outside of the UK.

Taking into account the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) and the UNECE Convention on access to information on environmental matters (the Aarhus Convention), the UK Government has chosen to inform all signatory states and their public of the Proposed Development and invite their participation in the decision making process.

The public in any other state who may be interested in this Proposed Development can (if they so choose) provide their representation(s) to the examination of any application by registering as an ‘interested party’. The process for doing this is explained in The Planning Inspectorate’s Advice Note 8.2.

By registering as an ‘interested party’, members of the public in any other state are afforded the same ability as the UK public to participate in the process should they wish to do so. Any person may register.

The closing date for registration as an ‘interested party’ is on 13 August 2018 at 11:59 pm (Greenwich Mean Time)


Notes for Editors

Planning Inspectorate role

On 1 April 2012, under the Localism Act 2011, the Planning Inspectorate became the agency responsible for operating the planning process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in England and Wales.

NSIPs are usually large scale developments such as new harbours, power generating stations (including wind farms and nuclear power stations), and electricity transmission lines, which require a type of consent known as ‘development consent’ under procedures governed by the Planning Act 2008 (and amended by the Localism Act 2011).

In England, the Planning Inspectorate examines applications for development consent from the energy, transport, waste, waste water and water sectors. In Wales, it examines applications for energy and harbour development, subject to detailed provisions in the Act; other matters are for Welsh Ministers.

Any developer wishing to construct an NSIP must first apply for consent to do so. For such projects, the Planning Inspectorate examines the application and will make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, who will make the decision on whether to grant or to refuse development consent.

The Espoo Convention

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Transboundary Context was adopted in 1991 in the Finnish city of Espoo and entered into force on 10 September 1997.

The Espoo Convention sets out the obligations of signatory parties to assess the environmental impact of certain activities and in doing so, notify and consult other parties on all major projects where the project under consideration is likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact in that state.

The Aarhus Convention

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was adopted on 25 June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus (Århus) at the Fourth Ministerial Conference as part of the “Environment for Europe” process. It entered into force on 30 October 2001.

The Aarhus Convention establishes a number of rights of the public (individuals and their associations) with regard to the environment. The Parties to the Convention are required to make the necessary provisions so that public authorities (at national, regional or local level) are able to participate in environmental decision making.

Published 6 July 2018